The Karate Kid (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=186921&d=1285694446
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 140 minutes
Genre: Drama/martial arts

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Wenwen Han, Zhenwei Wang
Directed by: Harold Zwart
Music by: James Horner
Written by: Christopher Murphey
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 5, 2010







"A challenge he never imagined, a teacher he never expected"



Film Synopsis:

When Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) and his mother (Taraji P. Henson) move from Detroit to China, Dre feels lost in a world very different from what he knows. Bullied and beaten up by some fellow students in his school, Dre is rescued by his apartment building's handyman, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a man who is mourning a devastating loss. Mr. Han takes pity on Dre and agrees to teach him kung fu to defend himself. Training together, teacher and student learn to trust each other, and ultimately form a friendship that heals them both.



My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=186924&d=1285694673

12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.

Remakes can be a tricky thing especially when it involves a beloved classic like the original The Karate Kid. In this case the script changes very little which tends to make scene by scene comparisons almost automatic for those familiar with the original. I guess that can be seen as both good and bad in that if the story strays too far than it isn't faithful, on the other hand if it plays too close it feels like a knock off. I think this remake is somewhere in between. It's sort of different (faithful) but plays a little too close (knockoff). It's difficult to explain but easier to understand once you have seen it. I think it walks a fine line but manages to capture the essence of the original via the good versus bad, life lessons, and bonds of friendship theme. So with all things essentially being equal in terms of the plot/storyline then we turn to the credibility/performances of the cast and the chemistry among them, especially the two leads.

The driving force behind this remake was producer Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith who co-produced it. It was obviously designed as a vehicle to highlight their son Jaden. I have seen him in several films (smaller roles) and think that he shows promise as an actor but isn't among the top tier in his age group. I was curious to see how well he would do in a lead role such as this. Unlike the original film this is a more physically demanding role and I must admit that twelve year Jaden did a terrific job with it. The fight sequences/choreography/effects are more involved which makes for a more engaging experience in that regard. Like his father Smith exudes confidence and charm which works in his favor here. I wasn't impressed with Smith's dramatic acting or as moved by the relationship between himself and Chan versus Macchio and Morita. There is a touching moment where Mr. Han breaks down while explaining to Dre the reason why he is disconnected/depressed. For that instant there was a viably emotive and dramatic moment that worked nicely. Jackie Chan is a likeable and charismatic. His Mr. Han is decidedly darker than Pat Morita's Mr. Miyagi but feels appropriate within the context of the story. I liked the depiction of the relationship between Dre and Meiying and thought that actress Wenwen Han pretty much stole every scene they had together. Looking at the remaining core characters and how they stack up to those in the original film. Here the leader/master of the Fighting Dragons doesn't compare to Martin Cove's Kreese. Zhenwei Wang's Cheng was good, but better than William Zabka's despicable Johnny? Nope. There were essentially no differences between Randee Heller and Taraji P. Henson in the role of the clueless mother who fails to see the pain their son is going through.

The action here is entertaining but the overall effect isn't appreciably better than the original although I like the Rocky style training montage (The Great Wall of China!). The fact that Dre is younger than Daniel changed some of the thematic elements in the story but how they are developed here in terms of levity and romance is well done and charming. The locations in China where the film is shot make for a beautiful backdrop that bolsters its appeal. I think that the film suffers from pacing problems and an overblown screenplay (drop your jacket, pick it up, hang it up would it ever end?!) that makes it too long at two hours and twenty minutes. When all was said and done it would be fair to say that I liked The Karate Kid. It doesn't live up to the original but on its own its entertaining, fun and worth watching.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for bullying, martial arts action violence and mild language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 88



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 92


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699
attachment.php?attachmentid=186923&d=1285694673

The Karate Kid comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

This is a reference quality encoding from Sony that looks great in high definition. The video has a transparent quality with excellent refinement and crisp definition. The nature of the photography lends itself to vivid and high glossy visuals which at times make it appear distinctly vibrant and eye catching. Colors are rich and delineated which highlights bright primaries and deeply saturated hues. Contrast is slightly elevated which imparts images with a dynamic overtone that doesn't infringed upon fidelity. Black levels are strong as dark scenes containing mixed content have plenty of depth and punch. Shadow delineation is every bit as good which provides low level sequences with excellent depth of field and visible detail in backgrounds. Images on screen appear detailed, lucid, and sharp with a noticeably filmic texture that enriched regardless of the camera's perspective.

The high resolution DTS-HD Master Audio presentation did a nice job rendering the film's soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allows subtle tonal differences in the voices of the cast to be discernable. This is a well balanced surround mix that quite often engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the audio has an open expression that extends well into the room. Surround activity isn't prevalent however the action based elements provide an enriching level of immersion that generates a seamless sound field. The finale fills the room with near field sound effects, energy filled dynamics and pulsating techno rhythms. The LFE channel is frequently engaged and enhances the film's music and lower bass frequencies with deep impact that has excellent tactility.



Bonus Features:


  • On location: The Karate Kid interactive map of China - An interactive experience narrated by director Harold Zwart

  • (HD) Alternate ending

  • (HD) Production diaries (Totaling 28 minutes):

    1. Training Jaden
    2. Jaden Smith: A day in the life
    3. The Forbidden City
    4. From Jackie with love
    5. The Great Wall
    6. Olympic Village
    7. Director profile: From model to movie
    8. Taraji P. Henson goes to China
    9. Wudang Mountains

  • Chinese lessons - Interactive feature - learn phrases from film via scene flashbacks

  • (HD) Music video: Never say never by Justin Bieber featuring Jaden Smith

  • (HD) Just for kicks: The making of The Karate Kid - 20 minute production featurette

  • (HD) Previews - Grown ups, Stomp the yard: The homecoming, Open season 3, Hancock, The Karate Kid (1984)

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=186922&d=1285694673



Final Thoughts:

The Karate Kid is a remake of the original 1984 classic of the same name. Its up to date spin is conventionally entertaining but doesn't live up to the original's endearing characters and evocative/inspirational appeal. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Home Entertainment in exemplary fashion featuring superb high definition video, clear lossless sound and a quantity versus quality bonus supplement set that has little intrinsic value but may appeal to younger audiences. If you're a fan this is worth picking up otherwise throw it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 12:39 PM
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I liked it, thought it was entertaining. But I think Smith was just too young for this part. He's gonna be a huge star like his father though watch..

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post #3 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 01:36 PM
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I thought this movie was ok. The trailers and promotions were too much of a hype and after seeing it it pales in comparison with the original one. Like what Ralph said on his final thoughts. Although it did score pretty high so i might still consider this one.

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post #4 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 02:57 PM
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Ralph, jeez, you and I have almost identical thoughts on films. It's scary.

I wasn't very impressed with Jaden's acting chops, but I definitely won't write him off quite yet. I'll let the little guy mature a bit.

I was actually very impressed with Jackie Chan. This was a different role for him, not typical of his comedic/martial-arts roles. Thumbs up for him and the little girl.

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post #5 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

Ralph, jeez, you and I have almost identical thoughts on films. It's scary.

I wasn't very impressed with Jaden's acting chops, but I definitely won't write him off quite yet. I'll let the little guy mature a bit.

I was actually very impressed with Jackie Chan. This was a different role for him, not typical of his comedic/martial-arts roles. Thumbs up for him and the little girl.

Greetings,

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post #6 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 04:07 PM
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Lame. You do not remake classics.. This was clearly meant as a vehicle to put Will Smith son in the spot light..Like any other actor stood a chance. Both his parents were part of the production. The Karate Kid title almost guarnteed the film would be a hit.. & the film is wu sh/kung Fu matrix.. It has nothing to do with Karate..

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post #7 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 07:28 PM
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This is one of those I was looking forward to in October and thanks for getting to it. You are on a roll!
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post #8 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 07:29 PM
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A rent for me...Thanks King P !

My son and wife may enjoy.....
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post #9 of 42 Old 09-28-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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Wow,what a excellent review.
I totally agree,nothing will beat the original karate kid series.
And yeah,jacky chan did a awesome job in it. guess i'll have to get it on blu-ray
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post #10 of 42 Old 09-29-2010, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBI View Post

Lame. You do not remake classics.. This was clearly meant as a vehicle to put Will Smith son in the spot light..Like any other actor stood a chance. Both his parents were part of the production. The Karate Kid title almost guarnteed the film would be a hit.. & the film is wu sh/kung Fu matrix.. It has nothing to do with Karate..

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post #11 of 42 Old 09-29-2010, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Well you know what they say about great minds....


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Are we having fun yet?
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post #12 of 42 Old 09-29-2010, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBI View Post

Lame. You do not remake classics.. This was clearly meant as a vehicle to put Will Smith son in the spot light..Like any other actor stood a chance. Both his parents were part of the production. The Karate Kid title almost guarnteed the film would be a hit.. & the film is wu sh/kung Fu matrix.. It has nothing to do with Karate..

Having grown up watching chopsocky movies in the 60's and 70's the "Karate Kid" was nothing new and uses the most rote formula and repeats all the cliched aspects of the genre (as all the previous classics have also).
This doesn't make it any less a good movie.
A good film is measured by it's entertainment value.
My wife and I enjoyed the new version when we saw it.
The changes in the locale and the inclusion of Jackie were what made the movie different.
Will's son did a fine job. He's only a kid.

Are we having fun yet?
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post #13 of 42 Old 09-29-2010, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

Ralph, jeez, you and I have almost identical thoughts on films. It's scary.

I wasn't very impressed with Jaden's acting chops, but I definitely won't write him off quite yet. I'll let the little guy mature a bit.

I was actually very impressed with Jackie Chan. This was a different role for him, not typical of his comedic/martial-arts roles. Thumbs up for him and the little girl.

I can second that. If I were to review a film the ratings would be similar or very near the same as what Ralph scores them. The same could be pretty much said about Lee. I would trust these two before any other reviewers. Don't get me wrong, there are other reviewers out there that do excellent and high detailed reviews, but my opinions do not always match theirs.
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post #14 of 42 Old 10-01-2010, 11:09 PM
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I never seen the original, but I watched this one tonight and really enjoyed it. At times I thought the story was dragged out a little too much at times, but it was a job well done leading up to the final moments of the film. I must say that the video and audio quality were top notch. This is one of the best Blu-ray transfers I have seen this year. Top 5 at least. It ranks right up there with titles such as Avatar. Don't get me wrong, nothing looks better than Avatar, but Karate Kid is very highly detailed.
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post #15 of 42 Old 10-04-2010, 10:33 AM
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FYI. Entertainment Weekly stated in a current issue that this movie blows away the previous. Whatever.
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post #16 of 42 Old 10-04-2010, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertc88 View Post

FYI. Entertainment Weekly stated in a current issue that this movie blows away the previous. Whatever.

I doubt that as when it was released, it was pretty much going to be an instant classic. That said, I am looking forward to this version!

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post #17 of 42 Old 10-04-2010, 11:47 AM
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are the extra's on a 2nd disc or are they on the main feature film disc? i dont wanna pay extra for the stupid dvd+digital copy version just to get all of the bonus features like with Iron Man 2.
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post #18 of 42 Old 10-04-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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are the extra's on a 2nd disc or are they on the main feature film disc? i dont wanna pay extra for the stupid dvd+digital copy version just to get all of the bonus features like with Iron Man 2.

Greetings,

This is a single disc Blu-ray release so everything is on one disc.

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post #19 of 42 Old 10-04-2010, 02:39 PM
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FYI. Entertainment Weekly stated in a current issue that this movie blows away the previous. Whatever.

LOL!!
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post #20 of 42 Old 10-05-2010, 09:07 AM
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I was somewhat hesitant to see the movie in theaters. But what the heck, we went anyway. I was very surprised and impressed. Though, not as good as original, this movie was really great. Jackie Chans role was awesome. The only thing I have a stig about is the title of the movie. Why call it The Karate Kid when he teaches him kung fu? lol

Great review as always
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post #21 of 42 Old 10-06-2010, 02:12 AM
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At first I was a bit hesitant getting this but after reading some reviews I'm looking forward to it.

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post #22 of 42 Old 10-06-2010, 11:53 AM
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I caught this in the theaters when it came out and was quite pleasantly surprised. I grew up on the original, and didn't think a remake would be a good idea, but I was entertained in the end. I'll be renting this one for one more watch and to check out the alternate ending.
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post #23 of 42 Old 10-07-2010, 09:03 AM
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To me it was worth a rental, but the next time I watch the Karate Kid it will be the original.
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post #24 of 42 Old 10-07-2010, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWB View Post

To me it was worth a rental, but the next time I watch the Karate Kid it will be the original.

Same for me. Wasn't as awful as I expected, but is certainly no original The Karate Kid! There were no makes-me-SMILE moments, like almost the entire tournament section in the original.

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post #25 of 42 Old 10-07-2010, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_B View Post

Same for me. Wasn't as awful as I expected, but is certainly no original The Karate Kid! There were no makes-me-SMILE moments, like almost the entire tournament section in the original.

+2.

SPOILERS below:

More flashy karate but a story that copied exactly the original in every conceivable way including nuanced scenes (like the bully handing the trophy over and the scoring, moves, deliberately targeted knee, magic cure and final once in a life time kill move). Jaden Smith is a poor young actor and in the one scene where he had to convey emotion (on the table hurt at the tournament before Chan does his magic, it looked like he was reading a teleprompter, ( and devoid of soul). Ralph Macchio made the movie in that scene and that set up the final battle to be far more engaging (despite the less flashy moves).

Major let down compared to the original... but nice picture and decent sound. nice review.

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post #26 of 42 Old 10-08-2010, 03:27 PM
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Eh, I liked the original and yes it's a classic but this one is still good.
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post #27 of 42 Old 10-09-2010, 10:00 AM
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Eh, I liked the original and yes it's a classic but this one is still good.

Looking forward to watch this one I was told it's quite good.

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post #28 of 42 Old 10-09-2010, 11:43 PM
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I found it quite odd that it had French subtitles but not Chinese.
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post #29 of 42 Old 10-10-2010, 09:37 AM
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The Chinese government doesn't think their people should be allowed to watch this version of the movie. They censored it.
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post #30 of 42 Old 10-11-2010, 02:23 AM
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i watched it last night but it was in 16x9 and not 2.40:1
i got the blu + dvd version, it even says 2.4:1 on the box
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